One Piece Character Global Popularity Contest Launched by Shueisha

One Piece series hits new milestone

In celebration of the One Piece manga series’ 1000th chapter, publisher Shueisha launched a worldwide character popularity contest. The poll launched on January 3, 2021 at 7 AM PST and will close on February 28, 2021. 

Fans from all over the world can vote once per day and can receive a random AR model of a character. The AR model details will be updated throughout the campaign. Shueisha also plans to release the Top 100 results in each region. 

The manga is written by Eiichiro Oda and released a statement in commemoration of the 1000th chapter.

“1000 Chapters!! I, uh, wow…Words pretty much fail to describe the whirlwind these past 23 years have been. Literally half of my life has revolved around the almighty ‘WEEKLY SERIALIZATION’ hehe. But it’s not just me, Luffy and the Strawhats have navigated themselves to so many different islands and found themselves caught up in so many adventures. At this point, even I’m not sure how many lives they’ve touched along the way! But it’s thanks to them that so many special people have entered my own life; first and foremost among them being my family. All of these people have supported me through the years and I am deeply indebted to each of them. Meanwhile, my readers have been leading their own bustling lives. There’s a certain theory that exists for long-term readership in the entertainment world that states, “A given pool of readers will rotate out of a series after five years.” And so for a while now, I’ve avoided calling my readers, ‘fans’. It’s like they say, “Pride cometh before a fall.” I convinced myself that I shouldn’t get too full of myself because my readers would eventually leave the series and move on with their lives. Let me say that all of you have put me to shame for thinking such a thing. Your belief in Luffy has led me to believe in all of you, and that is what allows me to continue drawing exactly the kind of manga I want to draw. So here we are, ready to dip our toes into the final stages of the story. It’s taken us a long time to reach one thousand
chapters. However, it’s because I’ve completed a thousand chapters that you must believe I’ll take us to the end. The story waiting for you will defy expectations! I mean it!! I have a favor to ask. This is for everyone with whom —by some means or another— I’ve managed to create a bond, in other words, the ONE PIECE FANS of the world! My story is a long one. But for just a while longer, please watch over Luffy and his crew as they continue their adventure!
-January 2021 Eiichiro Oda”

A commemorative preview trailer was also released.

Aside from the popularity contest, Shueisha will also release a full page color ad on The New York Times featuring the history of One Piece and various characters from the series. The publication will be released on January 4, 2021.

© Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha

In addition, volumes 1-71 of One Piece will be released on Shonen Jump+ and Zebrack mobile apps in Japan. There is no news yet for a release on Manga Plus by Shueisha, which publishes Jump manga in English.

As of April 2020, the One Piece manga exceeded 470 million volume copies printed with 390 million in Japan and over 80 million copies in 42 other countries and regions. The anime series is currently streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix.

The series is described as:

ONE PIECE is a nautical adventure series telling the story of a young boy named Monkey D. Luffy and his friends who set sail on an adventure in search of the great “One Piece Lost Treasure of Gold Roger.” Luffy has the special ability to stretch his body like rubber from eating a type of Devil Fruit called the “Gum Gum Fruit.” With his crew of the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy travels along the Grand Line in search of the treasure that will grant him the title of Pirate King.

© Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha

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